Inkscape help for furnace cover

My son wants me to make him a vent cover (in memory of his late dog:-)). I will be using white acrylic. I want to cut out the black and pressfit (inlay) black acrylic in it’s place. The dog bones are to allow circulation.

I haven’t had the best of luck ‘press fitting’ acrylic. I know i need to expand it because of kerf. Do i just select the whole pic and expand by 0.007 (for starters) or is there something special i need to do for it. If i do this, then the white pieces I cut out ‘should’ fit back in right? And, the black will fit back into the white acrylic piece that’s cut out?

Any better way to accomplish this?
jack furnace cover.jpg

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If you make an Inkscape line around the dog and set the width to the expected kerf and then Stroke to Path will give you two lines after you have reset their width. Then use the Outside line to cut out the dog and the inside line to cut the background. If you mirror the dog before cutting it will slide in better.


After ‘stroke to path’ I think you need to use ‘break apart’ to be able to manipulate the lines individually. Working in outline mode might be easier too.


Thanks! Other than ‘drawing’ around the dog, is there an easier way to do that?

I appreciate the help, this makes sense. And, thanks @PrintToLaser I’ll try both of those things as well. I use Inkscape quite a bit but don’t manipulate files much…but I did think I might need to break them apart.


“Trace bitmap”…

Turn off fill, set a stroke color, and width to match kerf, then “Stroke to Path”…

… then select all the inner pieces plus the outer border, and “Combine”. Change stroke color of one so you have two distinct design elements that can be cut separately. You could also combine the remaining pieces using “Select Same/Stroke Color”…


thank you so much for taking the time to ‘explain’ this. I’m a visual learner and this helps a lot. When I first started here you all were the ones to take the time to help out. I love seeing new people getting help and encouragement. Especially for those who are not engineers, or good with CAD programs:-)

Thanks again @eflyguy, @rbtdanforth , and @PrintToLaser ! I’ll tackle this soon! I’m excited for other projects when i figure out the exact kerf for acrylic!


Feel free to reach out for anything - that’s what most of us are here for, to help others learn.


Haven’t we also seen some cool 3d engraved translucent acrylic pieces? You engrave the backside as a 3d contour, and you get a nice greyscale image on the front side when it is backlit. I can’t find a sample pic now but they looked really nice.

(And that way, you only have to do the kerf adjustment for the outline of the head. Kerf compensating all those little inset pieces will be a lot of work.)


I’ve actually done some of those with acrylic-lithoplane. I had a CNC machine and it produced much better results using corion. I have tried corion here but i think my engraves weren’t deep enough. Cool stuff though…


Interesting idea! I have a wrecked lantern that could give it a good go! :slightly_smiling_face:

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